Friday, August 02, 2013

GMG's Friday Find: New Study Finds Treehuggers Had It Right All Along

Trees save lives!  New research released from the U.S. Forest Service and the Davey Institute concludes that urban forests across the country save thousands of lives every year.  
According to the study, trees help reduce hospital visits, the number of sick days taken and help people breathe easier.  Trees remove air pollutants by collecting them on their leaves and branches, in fact, just one tree can remove 300 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year.

Here are just a few of the benefits that trees provide:

Environmental
A forest acts as a giant filter that cleans the air we breathe.  Trees intercept airborne particles, cooling the air and absorbing pollutants like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.  A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.

Trees can store harmful pollutants and actually change the pollutant into less harmful forms.  They filter sewage and farm chemicals, reduce the effects of animal wastes, clean roadside spills and clean water runoff into streams.  Trees also control soil erosion by binding the soil and their leaves break the force of wind and rain on soil.

Economical
Trees increase property values.  Data shows that buyers are willing to spend 3-7% more on homes with ample trees vs. few or no trees.

Since trees shade and cool, they reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer.  Studies have shown that parts of cities without cooling shade from trees can literally be "heat islands" with temperatures as much as 12 degrees F higher than surrounding areas.

Emotional
Trees have a direct influence on neighborhood violence by fostering safer and more sociable environments.  By providing settings that incorporate nature and trees, relationships grow stronger and violence is reduced.  Neighborhoods with shady streets and parks attract people, as they are drawn to come together to interact and are more likely to become friends.

Trees never stop giving and scientists know for a fact that trees improve quality of life in almost every way.  Feel happier, improve curb appeal, and breathe easier by the simple, yet powerful gesture of planting a tree.  If you have any questions about planting and caring for trees, talk to a certified arborist at The Davey Tree Expert Company, or use the Tree$ense app to calculate various benefits of trees, such as energy savings and storm water interception. 

And next time you feel the urge to hug a tree, go ahead and share a little love to the gentle giants that provide so much.

~Peggy
Garden Media Group

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